However, in my opinion, the arguments are important. A mature faith has to account for the arguments that can be made against it. A while ago I listened to a podcast featuring Richard Bushman. He spoke of a smart, faithful church friend who had made the decision not to study church history because he didn't want anything he learned to shake his beliefs. Bushman's diagnosis was that as long as this friend thought there was some fact out there that might hurt his testimony, his faith was on shaky ground.
I think the same holds true for arguments against faith. If your faith can't withstand arguments against it, it's not on firm footing. B. H. Roberts thought along similar lines about the Book of Mormon: " I am taking the position that our faith is not only unshaken but unshakable in the Book of Mormon, and therefore we can look without fear upon all that can be said against it."
I also think there is something to be gained by learning the arguments for and against your beliefs, even if your beliefs are ultimately based on faith. For example,
- You might discover your faith has a strong logical underpinning, strengthening your faith
- You might learn some arguments to support your already held beliefs
- You might learn how to express your already held beliefs in a more convincing way
- You might discover some areas of your beliefs that are not fully developed, which you can develop with more thought and study
- You might discover there is a certain aspect of your belief system that you cannot defend and will abandon, leaving the core of your beliefs stronger
- You might inoculate yourself against certain attacks on your beliefs by learning the arguments against your beliefs in an environment where you can also learn the arguments supporting your beliefs
- You might use arguments to clear away ground so that there is room for faith to exist